Beginning the Observership Process.
Postulancy is a period of around 6 to 9 months when you begin to seriously learn what monastic life is about. There are courses to take. You live with others in the novitate, You wear your own clothes.
Introduction into Cistercian Life
Here we see a new postulant meeting an old monk who has been in the Order for many years.
A Postulant receiving the Habit
Another new novice!
Receiving a few gifts on her day.
The day you become a novice you receive the white religious habit. This is a serious two year preparation period before First Vows.
First Profession of Vows
After the Novitiate is finished, the novice makes her first Vows in a simple ceremony when she receives the black scapular and the leather belt.
After 3 to 9 years in simple vows, a person makes their definitive consecration to God in a solemn ceremony in the Church.
Receiving the Cowl.
The Cowl is received at Solemn Profession and the nun is later buried in this same garment. Its long sleeves prevent anything except prayer!
Changing the Veil.
The superior now exchanges the white veil for the black veil: another sign of Profession.
The Sister Newly Solemn Professed
The Sister is now fully a Cistercian Nun.
Cistercian formation and education is a life-long project. There are courses, and there is the everyday life of the nun, which is perhaps the greatest teacher of all.
Silver Jubilee of Profession
There are moments in a nun's life which are particularly significant, such as the jubilees of her monastic profession, when she renews her vows.